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Lawmakers hope federal government extends window to use CARES Act funds for broadband expansion

HANNIBAL (WGEM) — Local Missouri lawmakers said they're hoping they can get more time to utilize CARES Act funds for COVID-19 relief as they said usage of the funds could slow during the Winter.

Missouri 5th District Representative Louis Riggs said he's hoping it'll be possible to use a law he wrote and was signed into law earlier this year to keep any unused cares act funds in the state to be used for rural broadband expansion.

He said roll out of broadband may slow during the winter months however, which is why he's hoping rules could change and funds could continue to be used early next year instead of going back to the federal government.

"We'd really like to see the federal government perhaps extend time periods out into March or maybe April of next year because we know the weather complicates everything," said Riggs.

He said that'll only be possible if unemployment funds in the state stay at a good enough level that CARES Act funds don't have to be diverted to be used there instead.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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